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Part of USS Daedalus: Mission 1 – Measure by Measure and USS Mackenzie: Mission 12: Measure by Measure

DMBM 008 – The Chase

USS Daedalus
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Captain Wren Walton was on the viewscreen, her bridge a hive of activity, “Good to see you, Daedalus.  We’re sending you a track and prediction for the ship with their people.  Find them and get them back.  You are authorized to use force if needed, but the safety and health of those hostages come first.”

Dread replied, “We’re on our way.” The channel closed, “Prentice – plot intercept course and redline the engines.  Athena and Fowler – find us that ship.”

Ensign Athena left her station and pulled up next to Lieutenant Fowler.  They had been cordial since they’d picked up Baron Niner on the Olympic.  She had meant to try and settle the canyon that existed between them, but the time kept getting away from her.   Her view of the former Borg drone remained where it had been the day they found him last month.  He was a security risk.  There was no time to try and tend to the irritating wounds they’d given each other.  They needed to find the ship that had taken the hostages.  Athena slipped out her PADD, “The readings on the warp core are unique…like it’s specific to that type of ship?”

With hands dancing across the console, Fowler was ahead of her, “It’s a Stelara Mark32—an older model.  I spent time at Harris Transport listening to many excited engineers who were happy to have someone to talk to about all their research.”  She watched the screen as she manipulated the readings, “They made a lot of them, but there was a problem.  They have an off-again-on-again ionic leak that likes to act up every so often.”  Memories of the gathered group of men and women in the hangar in Montana as they told the story warmed her heart.  She blinked back the emotion connected to the time spent with them, “The Syndicate was an early adopter.  It’s a whole story.”  She worked the sensors a little more and exclaimed, “Got you, you little bugger.”

The Bajoran watched in wonder as the science chief plied her trade.  She looked young to an outsider, but she’d read the dossier. She had come aboard on the Edinburgh with Commander Harris and had been with much of the same crew to the Mackenzie, to the Olympic, and now the Daedalus.  She’d proven her worth several times over.  “We have a way of tracking the ship,” Athena noted.  The ionic readings gave them a clear path.  She pointed at where the ship seemed to be heading, “That’s…different.”

Fowler turned her attention back to the screen.  It was a planet off the beaten path, an aging tropical planet with volcanos that had recently begun to shake the planet through severe earthquakes.  She reworked the sensors as her eyes traced the path, and she began to suspect there was a story.  A science ship would eventually be dispatched, which was probably months away.  There was no sentient life on the planet.  It would be left alone.  She whispered to herself, “Months…hidden away.” She turned to Athena, a new energy driving her, “Follow me on this.”  She explained her thinking step by step, and the tactical officer nodded as the explanation finished.

Athena hypothesized, “It’s the near-perfect cover.  What if this planet is a gathering point?  Or the gathering point?”

Sadie chewed her bottom lip.  They were going to need to put eyes on the planet.  They risked exposing themselves if the Daedalus showed up in all her glory.  She was small, but Syndicate ships made it a habit to keep an eye out for Federation ships.  She turned to Captain Dread, “I have a plan.”  

As she explained, Athena interrupted, “You can’t go in there without a tactical officer.  Someone’s gotta back you up.”

The science chief gave her a cautious look, “You volunteering?”

In the short, awkward silence, Captain Dread answered, “I’ll make it an order.  Get your shuttle prepped and modified. Let’s get our people back.”